Windows 10 update is freezing games: Microsoft's fix? Uninstall it for now

Microsoft's latest update for Windows 10 users has been causing "massive lag spikes" in some games.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft says it is working on a fix for an issue in the March 1 update for Windows 10 version 1809 that has been causing severe performance issues with several popular games, including Destiny 2. 

The update KB4482887 has been creating huge performance problems for some gamers on Windows 10, affecting mouse movements and graphics. 

As reported on Wednesday by Windows watcher Woody Leonhard, there are two very busy threads on Reddit from users who've had problems with Destiny 2 and other games. 

The problems are reportedly worse on games that are nearly a decade old, like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. However, the bug doesn't affect games like the 2018 release, Battlefield V.  

"This patch is causing massive lag spikes in older games, like CoD4 and CoD MW2. Right after installing this update, I launch any of the two aforementioned games, moving the mouse around (yes, mouse movement) causes the game to freeze in one second intervals every time. If you don't move the mouse, game appears fine," wrote one user

While Microsoft has now confirmed the performance issue is due to the update KB4482887, Windows 10 users have for the past two days been trying to figure out the source of the problem themselves, running through other possible suspects like graphics drivers. 

"I logged in to play some yesterday prior to Season of the Drifter starting this Tuesday and noticed my game was unusually sluggish. It also felt as though my mouse setting and sensitivity were messed up even though I had been comfortable with the settings I have for quite a long time now," wrote another Reddit user.  

"At first I thought it may have been the latest Nvidia driver so I reverted and tried each of the last four official versions, and the problem was still there."

SEE: 20 pro tips to make Windows 10 work the way you want (free PDF)

But even before Microsoft officially acknowledged the issue on Thursday, that user had figured out that uninstalling KB4482887 and pausing Windows update to prevent it from reinstalling would resolve the problem. 

"As a short-term resolution, users can uninstall KB4482887 to regain performance," Microsoft said, adding that it will provide a resolution in an upcoming update.  

A Microsoft employee said to be on the Windows kernel team fortunately did notice the thread a few days ago and called on affected users to report the issue through the Feedback Hub for Microsoft to investigate.     

The employee also addressed speculation that the gaming performance issues could have been caused by this update enabling Retpoline, the Google-developed software-based mitigation for Spectre variant 2. 

As Microsoft noted in a blog this month, the original microcode updates from chipmakers resulted in "larger performance degradation than we'd like on certain processors and workloads". Retpoline is a less taxing mitigation for the same vulnerability. 

Although KB4482887 does contain Microsoft's implementation of Retpoline, the employee noted it needs to be enabled, which it had not been as of March 3. Microsoft intends to enable Retpoline gradually over the coming months. 

Previous and related coverage

Microsoft rolls out Google's Retpoline Spectre mitigation to Windows 10 users

KB4482887, released today, enables Google's Retpoline mitigation in the Windows 10 kernel (only for v1809 users).

Windows 10 previews grind to halt over GSOD bug that Microsoft can't fix

Microsoft has hit pause on part of its Windows 10 Insider preview program due to a green screen of death glitch that it can't fix. 

All Intel chips open to new Spoiler non-Spectre attack: Don't expect a quick fix

Researchers say Intel won't be able to use a software mitigation to fully address the problem Spoiler exploits.

Microsoft: You really should bookmark this Windows 10 update history page

The Windows 10 version 1809 update history page alone has over one million page views and counting.

Windows 10: New study shows Home edition users are baffled by updates

How annoying are Windows 10's automatic updates? In a new study, a group of UK researchers report that users of Home edition experience unexpected restarts and inconsistent installation times, caused by inappropriate defaults and inadequate notice of pending updates.

Windows 10's new free Office app: Microsoft Store PWA now open to all

Office progressive web app, or PWA, replaces the pre-installed MyOffice app.

Chrome users: This Windows 10 Timeline extension has just landed from Microsoft

Chrome users can now get a view in Timeline of their web-browsing history thanks to an official Microsoft Chrome extension.

Microsoft security chief: IE is not a browser, so stop using it as your default

Internet Explorer is a 'compatibility solution' and should only be used selectively, warns Microsoft exec.

Microsoft just made Windows 10 updates a little easier to understand

Microsoft once again changes definitions of Windows 10 updates, but it should make life simpler.

Windows 10: Now you can get 1990s Windows File Manager from Microsoft Store

Microsoft publishes the Windows File Manager from the 1990s in its app store.

Windows Update problems: Fixed now but here's what went wrong, says Microsoft

Microsoft says Windows Update DNS outage is fixed and things should return to normal for all customers soon.

Windows 95 reborn: Windows 10, Linux, Mac get major nostalgia upgrade

Relive Windows 95 on a Mac, Linux or Windows 10 machine.

New Windows 10 updates: These are the bugs Microsoft just fixed

Microsoft releases new Windows 10 builds, says to contact your ISP if Windows Update is still broken.

How to turn features on and off in Microsoft Windows 10 from the Control Panel TechRepublic 

Microsoft decided to conceal the traditional Control Panel, but you can still access it if you know how.

CES 2019: Everything we saw, from 8K TVs to amazing fake burgers CNET

The show opened with a bombshell from Apple, closed with a surprise from Samsung and had plenty of news in between.

Editorial standards